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Ping launches new G400 Max driver, the “most forgiving driver in golf”

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As initially expected, the Ping G400 Max driver that officially launched today is made for more forgiveness, with a larger construction than it’s original G400 family members. In 2017, Ping launched its G400 driver line that included a standard model, a draw-biased SF Tec and a fade-biased LS Tec, each of which measured 445cc — below the 460cc legal limit of the USGA. Despite the smaller sizes, which helped reduce drag for more club head speed, they were actually more forgiving than their G-family predecessors due to aerodynamic improvements, thinner crowns, strategically-placed Tungsten weights and a new TS9+ titanium face.

Now, Ping’s new G400 Max driver has even more forgiveness than the already super-forgiving G400 drivers due to its larger size and additional weight in the rear of the golf club. Like the original G400 drivers, the G400 Max has a rear tungsten weight, except it’s even farther back and actually wraps around the sole of the G400 Max. The design means CG (center of gravity) is extremely low and rearward in the club head, and MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness) is the highest reported on the market… or in other words, according to Ping, it’s the most forgiving driver out.

“Our engineers focused on increasing the forgiveness of the driver while maintaining the distance gains and powerful sound of the original G400 driver,” said John Solheim, the president of Ping. “It’s remarkable how long and straight the G400 Max flies. The forgiveness is off the charts and leads to tighter dispersion, which reveals just how consistent your distance and accuracy results will be on the golf course. We encourage all golfers to get fit and look closely at their dispersion, not just their one best shot on a launch monitor.”

When you hear about max forgiveness, you typically assume it’s a game-improvement driver that’s made for high-handicappers, right? While this driver will help recreational golfers who need help on off-center hits, the G400 Max driver is already in the bags of Ping staffers Aaron Baddeley and Seamus Power, and non-staffer Tony Finau, one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour. According to Ping, despite having a larger size than the original G400 drivers, the G400 Max is still able to produce speed because of its forged, heat-treated T9S+ face that has a “thinner, hotter” impact area that raises ball speed.

Like the G400 drivers, the G400 Max comes stock with an Alta CB (counterbalanced) shaft that uses special, color-shifting paint technology to look great on the shelf with its copper color, but it looks black at address to reduce distractions. Read more about the shaft technology here. Ping’s Alta CB shaft is available in 55 (SR, R, S or X flex). Additional shaft options include Ping’s Tour 65 or 75 (R, S or X) for a $35 upcharge, or the following aftermarket shaft options for a $75 upcharge: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 60 (R, S or X flex), Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75 (5.5, 6.0 or 6.5 flex) or Aldila’s X-Torsion Copper (50R or 60S) shaft.

Ping’s G400 Max drivers, which are available now for pre-order, come in 9 and 10.5 degree options and with Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips. They start selling for $435 apiece, plus any additional upcharges for shafts.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Ping G400 Max drivers in our forums.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Philip

    Jan 15, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Okay, the last version reduced from 460 to 445 which helped to make it more forgiving and now they go back to 460 to make it more forgiving (with all of the other stuff for each version to of course). I wonder how they measure forgiveness … is it having 1000’s of real average golfers hitting balls and then tabulating the results between versions? Is it using a machine with a perfect swing? Or, is it more marketing fluff than anything else?

  2. Robert Parsons

    Jan 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I would want to try a G400 Max LST.

    • Carl Schillinger

      Jan 15, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      Not available in the SFT or LST head.

      • Walter

        Jan 15, 2018 at 4:18 pm

        IOW it’s a gearhead hacker driver promising power and distance. Nothing new here.

  3. Watson

    Jan 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Highest loft is 10.5º which means it’s only good for 100+++mph swing speeds.
    I just bought, for $40, a mint condition PING G2 400cc driver with 15.5º lofts to match my declining swing speed. It’s got a 47″ stock TFC 100D with Soft Regular shaft with ‘Tip Flex Control’ feature.
    It’s an oversized 3-wood which I can confidently hit 220+/- yards. The flex is high but I can handle it with my slower swing speed. It plays like a whippy hickory shafted driver!
    A perfect club for an aging golfer who once hit 250+ regularly. Fortunately my short game and putting is still fantastic.

  4. Jerry

    Jan 15, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I can see pros swinging at 115-130 wanting more forgiveness. But I’m swingin at max 95 mph and with a decent swing, I really enjoy the sweet feel/sound and uber forgiveness of the G400.

  5. mM

    Jan 15, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I love this advertorial… it says the Max is larger than the 445 of the original G400. But doesn’t say what size it is.
    Well done Ping. Not.

    • Milton Gombo

      Jan 15, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      460cc. Shape may be more like the original ‘G’ design, which I preferred anyway.
      If you want to rant about Ping- why can’t they arrange a head-only exchange program, as there is nothing wrong with my G400 Tour 65 shaft? This new Max w/ Tour shaft runs $470, and the PGA trade in value for my 1 month old G400 is $135. They would have locked me in sight unseen with a head-only exchange program. Now I’ll be testing other brands as well.

      • Jerry

        Jan 15, 2018 at 1:38 pm

        Doubt if 15cc will make a difference. Find the shaft you like and bomb away. I did not like any of the stock offerings, did not care for the Tour Shaft, nothing special to me, and it took several months to find a shaft – using a VA Shafts 55, and have a TPT Golf 54g shaft when they release the new version this month after the show. I think shaft is key here. More than enough forgiveness.

    • Carl Schillinger

      Jan 15, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      It has a 460 cc head.

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Whats in the Bag

Chris Baker WITB 2020

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chris-baker-witb-2020
  • Equipment accurate as of January 2020

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero Triple Diamond (9 degrees, D1 setting)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Regio Formula M+ X 65

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (15 degrees, NS setting)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Regio Formula M+ X 75

5-wood: Cobra King F9 Speedback Tour (17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Nippon N.S. Pro Regio Formula M+ X 75

Irons: Cobra King F9 Speedback (4), Miura MC-501 (4-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-08F, 56-10S, 60-06M)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 130 (50), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (56, 60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron TSB Prototype
Grip: SuperStroke SS2R

Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

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All-new Callaway Jaws MD5 Raw and tour-inspired T-Grind wedges

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Callaway Raw MD5 Wedge

Callaway is adding to its successful Callaway Jaws MD5 lineup with a new grind and a new look: MD5 Raw and T-Grind wedges.

The Callaway Jaws MD5 story

As we covered in the original 2020 Callaway MD5 launch piece, these wedges are more than just a stepping stone for the engineering team at Callaway, and instead are a complete evolution of how they design and manufacture their wedges. Here’s why: By reinventing the overall groove shape compared to previous models, they have succeeded in increasing both spin and total control on full and less-than-full shots.

The proprietary groove design of the Jaws wedge gets the contact radius right to the limit set forth by the governing bodies. How closes are we talking?” So close that the initial response from Callaway’s manufacturing partner was “Sorry, we just can’t do this” because the failure rate was close to 50 percent of heads becoming nonconforming.

The solution for Callaway? Changing the cutting tool used on the grooves every 15 wedges. Sure, you could attempt to get more life out of each tool, but when you have everyone from recreational players to the world’s best putting them in play, you can’t make sacrifices.

Callaway 2020 MD5 JAWS Wedge Grooves

2020 Callaway Jaws MD5 wedge: groove detail

The end result is the MD5 Jaws spins over 10 percent more on shots hit around the green compared to the Callaway MD4 and launches lower by one degree. Lower launch is important, because if you talk to any short game coach with a launch monitor, or Roger Cleveland, in Callaway’s case, you will quickly realize that being able to control launch with a wedge is just as important as it is with a driver. A lower-launching wedge means the coefficient of friction is higher since the ball isn’t riding/sliding up the face—and boom, you have a greater ability to hit the “low checker.”

callaway-jaws-md5-raw-lineup

The raw finish

After many years of limited retail availability, raw wedges have come back in style in a big way thanks to more golfers understanding the benefits of an unplated wedge—it also helps that the most popular finish option in professional golf is raw and unplated too.

The Callaway Jaws MD5 Raw is made from 8620 mild carbon steel to offer a soft feel. Over time, the unplated finish will patina to reduce glare—nothing worse than trying to hit a wedge shot on a sunny day and having the full reflection of the sun nearly blind you in the process.

callaway-jaws-md5-raw-face

The Raw MD5 maintains all the other design features of the already available MD5 wedges, including the four ports and medallions on the back of the head to raise CG for greater trajectory control—but also gives golfers the added option to customize through Callaway Customs.

The T-Grind story

Just like how raw finishes have grown in popularity, so have wedge grinds that offer greater versatility on full and partial shots around the green. The new T-Grind (available in 58 and 60-degree lofts) is a popular choice because it has a higher measured bounce in a standard neutral playing position, but thanks to the crescent sole with heel, toe, and trailing edge relief, the leading edge can get closer to the ground on shots played with an open face.

This puts bounce where you need it and takes it away from places you don’t. Compared to the similar-looking X-Grind (available in 54 and 56-degree lofts) the T has less bounce which can also help players that are more shallow or play in softer more lush conditions.

The new T Grind will also look different from address compared to the standard higher lofted MD5 wedges because they have a slightly thicker topline to raise CG for controlled ball flight.

Availability, Specs & Pricing

The new MD5 wedges will be available for purchase at retail and online starting June 4, and the retail price is $159.99

Lofts – (Italicized are the new grind options)

Right Handed:

  • 50° S Grind,
  • 52° S Grind
  • 54° S and X Grind
  • 56° S and X Grind
  • 58° S,  X, and T Grind
  • 60° S, T, and X Grind
  • 62° C Grind

Left Handed:

  • 52° S Grind
  • 56° S Grind
  • 60° S Grind

The wedges come with 3 premium stock shaft options, Steel: Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S200. Graphite: ProjectX Catalyst 80, and UST Recoil wedge F1 ( Ladies flex only )

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What GolfWRXers are saying about Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges

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@clevelandgolfeu

In our forums, our members have been discussing Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges. WRXer ‘hammergolf’ wants to hear from single-digit players who are currently playing the wedges, and our members have been sharing their thoughts on the clubs with plenty of praise for the wedges in our forums.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • cfmgolf: “I am definitely a believer. Tried it on a whim at a PGA SuperStore in FL last fall and was stunned by the consistency of it. Changed from a RTX3 to the CBX2 in my 52* gap within a couple of weeks. Now that we are back in OH for the summer, I changed out 3 wedges (Ping Glide 3.0, and 2 of the RTX 4’s) for an entire bag of the CBX2’s. I am trying the full face in my 56* and found it to be very good also. Biggest benefit for me has been the consistency of the CBX line. Shots out of the rough that can be high on the club don’t really lose much – i.e. more forgiving. I go between a 6-8HCP, and short game is my strong point. Very happy with them so far.”
  • JCRay33: “6 handicap here and bought a couple CBX’s (54 and 58) from 2nd swing a couple months ago and absolutely love them! Way more forgiving than typical blade wedges (had vokeys before) and great feel as well. It’s easy for ego to get in the way and not want to get these, but once you realize, all that matters is performance the choice is a no-brainer and results speak for themselves really.”
  • mortimer: “CBX2 50. Excellent gap wedge for full, 3/4 shots and chipping. Forgiving, consistent and more than acceptable spin numbers. Also offset is fine to my eye. Having said all that I would not game a 58/60 degrees one if you like to manipulate the face for different shots around the green as I do. Intrigued though with the new full-face but have not seen one in person yet.”
  • Simp: “I have a set of 58, 54 & 50 raw CBX2’s allegedly tour issue, and I love them. The 58 has a grind that is lovely. I’m a 0 FYI.”
  • nicelife: “I have Srixon irons and Mizuno T20 wedges. I found the CBX2 50 was the perfect transition club between sets. LOVE the Srixon/Cleveland V-Sole. Visually the face has more grooves than I would normally like to look at, but its performance more than makes up for it. I really like the satin finish. So much so I’m thinking about refinishing my irons. Go for it you won’t be sorry.”

Entire Thread: “Cleveland’s CBX2 wedges”

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